Ko Mak

Why Go

The tiny island of Ko Mak has an abundance of stunning beaches looking out onto clear blue waters. These classic paradise island beaches earned the island a spot in the top ten beaches in the world, in the British Sunday Times newspaper. A big bonus is that tourism has been kept relatively low key, meaning it always has a quiet, laid-back atmosphere, very easy to find your own bit of paradise.

Why Not

Ko Mak is for those looking to get away from it all, a place to just relax; with phone reception and Internet quite limited. Ko Mak can suffer from sand-flies; it depends on the time of year, time of day, the wind, and can vary significantly by beach. If you experience problems with them try a different beach, it’s also advisable to take some hydrocortisone to stop the itching if you do get a reaction.

To See

The most popular beaches are on the west coast, and the island has mainly mid-range resorts with a few good budget options. We think the best budget options are on the south-west coast, check out our coastline guides to find out more about the island. Being so flat lends itself to being nice to ride around, and the lovely island authorities have created various trails you can use to explore the island by bicycle and on foot. There’s even a little guide of these trails you can pick up at many places on the island. You can hire mountain bikes at many resorts for around 150B per day. Some resorts let you borrow bikes for free and Coco Café lets you borrow theirs with a purchase of a coffee. The island is small enough to not be able to get truly lost, but big enough to explore and discover empty beaches and tiny finishing villages. The island has minimal traffic, so is a decent place to learn to ride a motorbike. The shallow waters and several small satellite islands dotted around the island are ideal for snorkelling and kayaking, the islands can also be visited by boat. Other activities include diving, superb Thai cooking classes, a visit to the erotic sculpture park and windsurfing at Koh Mak resort in the north-west. If you head to Baan Koh Mak on Ao Kao beach around mid-afternoon, you may find people looking for a game of beach volleyball. *TIP* - Bring a torch for at night as there’s no street lighting around.

To Know

The small island of Ko Mak is sandwiched between its two much larger siblings, Ko Chang and Ko Kut. The island is privately owned by a few families who are descendants of the Chinese-Thai coconut baron, Chao Sua Seng, who purchased the island around a century ago. It’s Thailand’s largest privately owned island and an essential part of the minimal tourism development, is that the island’s interior is effectively a giant cash-crop for these families. Mainly rubber plantations, although some coconuts are still grown, along with pineapples and cashews.

Map of East Thailand

East Thailand-Map